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Roslin scientists will support women agricultural scientists in Ethiopia

Scientists at The Roslin Institute will support new African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellows in Ethiopia.

Participants at the AWARD-EIAR kick-off meeting.
Participants at the AWARD-EIAR kick-off meeting. Picture courtesy of AWARD and EIAR.

Scientists at The Roslin Institute, the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) and John Innes Centre (JIC) will support a new fellowship programme of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), by helping to build and sharpen the scientific skills of new fellows.

As parts of its efforts to strengthen gender-responsive agricultural research in the African continent, AWARD is launching a mini-AWARD Fellowship for women researchers at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR).

The Fellowship seeks to foster mentoring and build leadership and scientific skills of women agricultural scientists at EIAR.

Roslin, CTLGH and JIC will help to strengthen the Fellows’ scientific skills by exposing them to the latest scientific advances and allowing them to learn from agricultural scientists in the world’s leading research institutions.

Emily Clark presenting the work of Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre.
Emily Clark presenting the work of Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre. Picture courtesy of AWARD and EIAR.

Both The Roslin Institute and John Innes Centre hold Athena SWAN Gold awards in recognition of their efforts in supporting the careers of women in science. The award, which the Institutes hold since October 2017, acknowledges policies and changes made to improve equality for all staff and students.

Current gender imbalance

A recent gender audit at EIAR revealed that even though there are gender focal persons in the institution, “they are not adequately trained or resourced and most of the gender focused sections in research design are insufficient to guide research teams on how to design, budget and conduct gender responsive research”. The audit also revealed that women account for only 24 percent of the institution’s total workforce and only seven percent have a bachelor’s degree and above.

Boosting gender responsiveness in African agricultural research

The mini-AWARD Fellowship targets 20 women agricultural scientists and will run for eight months. A total of 60 scientists will directly benefit from this pilot initiative, including 20 (female) Fellows, 20 (male and female) mentors and 20 (female) junior scientists.

The Fellowship, which kicked off on 25 February 2019 at the EIAR Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will include workshops for Fellows and Mentees, bi-weekly mentoring meetings, customized training to build science writing skills, management and leadership skills, as well as a progress monitoring meeting for Fellows and Mentors.

The mini-AWARD Fellowships are very important to train and empower women in agricultural research in Ethiopia. It has been a pleasure to take part in the Mentoring Orientation Workshop for AWARD-EIAR Fellows at the kick-off meeting last week. We look forward to hosting Fellows at The Roslin Institute and to initiate new research partnerships with them.

Dr Emily Clark, The Roslin Institute

Related links

The Roslin Institute receives Athena SWAN Gold award

AWARD Fellowships

Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research

Interview with Dr Emily Clark on genes with a function

Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health

Pictures of the kick-off meeting

All pictures are a courtesy of AWARD and EIAR.

Emily Clark giving an overview of Roslin and CTLGH
Emily Clark giving an overview of Roslin and CTLGH.
AWARD cerimony with EIAR Director Dr Mandefro Nigussie
AWARD cerimony with EIAR Director Dr Mandefro Nigussie.
Emily Clark with AWARD Deputy Director Michèle Mbo'o-Tchouawou at kick-off event
Emily Clark with AWARD Deputy Director Michele Mboo-Tchouawou at kick-off event.